Outer Space

  • Satellite space station

    Blog

    Space Talk Launches Politics Aside

    Hundreds of guests packed the Cary Grant Theatre at Sony Studios to kick off RAND's Politics Aside event with a discussion on space technology, policy, and leadership. Matt Miller, columnist, author, and radio host moderated the panel, which included Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs; George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic; and NASA astronaut Cady Coleman.

    Nov 14, 2014

  • Yool Kim and other witnesses at the July 16, 2014 joint hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Strategic Forces and Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee

    Commentary

    Should the U.S. Rely on Russian Rocket Engines?

    One of the two launch vehicles that lift U.S. satellites into orbit depends on a rocket engine made by a company located in Russia. Russia's recent clashes with Ukraine and its claims on the Crimean peninsula have caused friction with the United States and thereby raised questions among U.S. policymakers about the potential for an interruption in the supply of the engines.

    Jul 16, 2014

  • Launch vehicle lift-off for evolved expendable launch vehicle program

    Testimony

    Does Reliance on Foreign Component Supply Chains Put U.S. Launch Vehicles at Risk?

    While there are both risks and benefits of using foreign components in the U.S. Air Force Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program, the risk of potential supply interruption of most foreign components is manageable. To mitigate those risks, trade-offs of costs, schedules, and mission significance must be considered.

    Jul 16, 2014

  • A computer-generated image of objects in Earth orbit that are currently being tracked, 95% of which is orbital debris

    Commentary

    Debris Poses Increased Threat to Exploration

    Every satellite launch and maneuver is carefully coordinated because some orbits are strewn with the space-based equivalent of blown tires, abandoned vehicles, loose gravel and, of course, other traffic. Earth's orbit is littered with hundreds of thousands of debris objects.

    May 16, 2014

  • Haleakala Observatory — AEOS 3.67-meter telescope is the largest in the Department of Defense.

    Report

    A Sixty-Year Timeline of the Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing Site

    Since it was built in the 1950s, the Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing Site's mission, management structure, and operational partners have changed several times to accommodate the contemporary challenges and research tools. This timeline documents some of those historical changes.

    Dec 16, 2013

  • space launch

    Blog

    A Public-Private Model for Funding Space Missions

    The future of manned space flight, including missions to Mars and other deep space destinations, will likely depend on the combined resources of governments and commercial enterprises, say Dave Baiocchi and William Welser.

    Jul 23, 2013

  • The International Space Station

    Commentary

    Kill the Space Launch System to Save Human Spaceflight

    Even in the face of a budgetary spending cap and the ever-looming possibility of new cuts, NASA continues investing in a robust and diverse human spaceflight program. But with fiscal uncertainty expected to continue, it should consider reordering its spending priorities.

    Apr 5, 2013

  • Meteorite and the Earth

    Commentary

    The Effects of Celestial Events Go Beyond Their Impact

    While the event in Russia was caused by a medium-sized (10,000-ton) meteor, larger objects, like the asteroid 2012 DA14 that also passed near Earth last week, have the potential to be significantly more damaging, write Dave Baiocchi and William Welser.

    Feb 20, 2013

  • Report

    RAND Review: Vol. 35, No. 1, Spring 2011

    Stories discuss gays in the military, police recruitment, home health care, breast cancer, health insurance exchanges, alternative fuels, refinery taxes, alcohol prices, outer space debris, mental illness, diplomatic trends, and health care costs.

    Apr 29, 2011

  • Journal Article

    Update to The Sigma Scan

    This external publication is an online database of short Horizon Scanning Centre think-pieces. RAND Europe updated 25% of the papers on this database, to incorporate more recent policy issues, evidence, and developments.

    Jan 1, 2011

  • Earth in space

    Report

    Orbital Debris Poses a Growing Threat to Satellites in Space

    Orbital debris represents a threat to the operation of man-made objects in space, such as satellite television and weather satellites. Currently, there are hundreds of thousands of objects greater than one centimeter in diameter in Earth's orbit.

    Nov 2, 2010

  • Commentary

    Space: The Final Junkyard?

    Celestial real estate is increasingly popular. All in all more than 900 satellites, along with tens of thousands of bits of man-made space detritus, jockey for elbow room overhead. The result: a growing threat our atmosphere will soon become so crowded with floating junk as to become almost unusable, write Caroline Reilly and Peter D. Zimmerman.

    Apr 2, 2009

  • Journal Article

    Technology Strategies for Homeland Security: Adaptation and Coevolution of Offense and Defense

    Terrorists' strategies are driven by the types and range of weapons and other technologies they acquire.

    Jan 1, 2009

  • Report

    Improving the Cost Estimation of Space Systems

    Why have the costs of acquiring space systems been so high? What are the sources of the problems? To answer these questions, RAND researchers examined the sources of cost growth of Air Force space systems and undertook an extensive study of two space systems.

    Jul 25, 2008

  • Report

    Guidelines and Metrics for Assessing Space System Cost Estimates

    A handbook to help analysts assess cost estimates of space systems.

    Jan 12, 2008

  • Report

    Planets for Man

    Endeavors to determine -- on the basis of then-current biological and cosmological knowledge -- whether there are other worlds where man can survive or where human life may even now be flourishing.

    Oct 9, 2007

  • Report

    Habitable Planets for Man

    ''Habitable Planets for Man'' examines and estimates the probabilities of finding planets habitable to human beings, where they might be found, and the number there may be in our own galaxy.

    Oct 8, 2007

  • Report

    Space Handbook: Astronautics and Its Applications

    Seminal guide from 1958 on the uses and characteristics of space systems, including astronautics and its applications, technology, rocket vehicles, propulsion systems, propellants, internal power sources, guidance, communication, and more.

    Oct 8, 2007

  • Report

    Space Command Sustainment Review: Improving the Balance Between Current and Future Capabilities

    Space assets are vital to the economic, social, and military interests of the United States. Sustainment complexities suggest a need to define a AFSPC commandwide sustainment philosophy separating demand, supply, and integrator processes.

    Jun 17, 2007

  • Report

    New Metrics Show How Investments Affect Space System Performance

    As space systems age, the U.S. Air Force Space Command needs to understand how budgeting for the maintenance and sustainment of ground segments affects the performance of their associated space systems. New metrics and models can help this process.

    Apr 14, 2007